The Weekly Curio – Episode 22


In this episode, Thom and Jeff talk about a real planet of the apes, what to do when your heroes suck, and the VERY LAST WORD on GMO.

iTunes mp3

Episode 22: Damn You! You Dirty Sexist, GMO Friendly Apes!

Thom Britton is the creator of FreakShow & Tell and The WIP Theater
Jeff Wagg is the Curator of College of Curiosity


GMO fish from

GMO fish from

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  1. Great episode once again guys, thanks! GMO is a pet issue of mine so lemme nitpick you a bit. 😉

    1) Monsanto: Throwing Monsanto under the bus in order to find common ground I think is not helpful. I don’t think Monsanto is “legitimately evil” unless you know something I don’t?

    2) Farmers: I’m not sure what farmers you know but the ones I do are pretty damn educated. (But then again the ones I know are through social media and my biotech connections so I probably have a biased sample.) My buddy Brian Scott for example has an agronomy degree from Purdue and has a solid grasp of many science disciplines to help inform his farming decisions. He buys seed that works best (GMO or not) and has a vested interest in keeping his land viable long-term. I haven’t heard any “gmos are fine” farmers complain about Monsanto either. Monsanto isn’t the only game in town and they’re upfront with their terms of use.

    3) Monocultures: this is another trope that gets tossed around when it’s a bit more complicated than that. But there’s a reason this gets conflated with GMO…

    The purported problems with GMOs are not inherent to GMO. In fact it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy when the environment is made hostile that only the big fish can thrive. It’s so regulated and expensive that the only products worth creating are the big commodity crops. Small innovative developers have little chance of bringing any consumer (or humanitarian cause) targeted traits to fruition. That’s all changing but not with the help of GMO denialists and fear mongers.

    That’s way more than I intended to write and now it seems particularly critical when I’m with you on 99% on all this. There’s just some nuance there that I believe insidiously contributes to the climate of fear and misunderstanding around this issue. GMO is just a patsy for some underlying concerns.

    • Hello PythagoreanCrank! I consider those nits well picked! I could have gone on for another hour or so, specifically about the issues you raise here. Personally, i don’t think Monsanto is any more evil than any other large corporation. They look out for their own interests, as is their duty to their shareholders. Thom’s opinion may vary. 🙂 I was trying to avoid talking about them at all and just focus on the facts of what GMO is.

      I didn’t address monoculture except to mention it, but it has nothing to do with GMO and has been a problem since before George Washington Carver.

      I have the highest respect for farmers, while recognizing that in some places, especially in developed countries, poor farming practices in the interest of short-term gain have a negative effect long-term results. My only point here was that when science and famers work together, as with your buddy, the best results occur. I could have made that point in a better way.

      As to your final point, I COMPLETELY agree. GMO is a scapegoat for many issues, and like any technology, it is neutral. How it’s used is all that matters, and GMO technology can be used for some VERY GOOD THINGS.

      Thanks for listening!

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